School pupils across Aberdeen began gearing up this week for another few months of sport as the popular Aberdeen Games returned on Tuesday, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The initiative, delivered in partnership by Robert Gordon University (RGU), Sport Aberdeen and North East Scotland College (NEScol), sees every primary school in the city take part in sports sessions over the next two months, leading up to a final festival.
The launch event at RGU SPORT saw 200 pupils from Kaimhill Primary School participate in a morning of coaching delivered by RGU’s BSc (Hons) Applied Sport and Exercise Science students.
These students, along with students from NEScol, are the backbone of the programme. RGU Applied Sport and Exercise students alone deliver almost 900 hours of coaching in local schools, as part of their placements with Sport Aberdeen.
Over the course of these innovative placements, Active Schools co-ordinators assess their coaching ability and the students are offered contracts to work with Sport Aberdeen as paid coaches, should they pass the module.
Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU, said: “Our partnership with Sport Aberdeen demonstrates the importance that both organisations place not only on delivery of the Aberdeen Youth Games but also the benefits that effective partnership working can have for the local community.
“While school children from across the city are experiencing the real benefits that sport can bring, our students have the unique and exciting prospect of gaining employment following their module.
“The Aberdeen Youth Games launched as a Legacy 2014 funded event and we’re looking forward to this year’s event coming close after the Commonwealth Games for a great spring of sport, both locally and internationally.”
Launched in November 2013, the Aberdeen Youth Games has engaged thousands of pupils at 45 primary schools across the city, who have participated in sporting, health and cultural activities.
The project culminates each year with a Festival of Sport at Aberdeen Sports Village, which sees more than 1500 pupils take part in a number of different skills-based sporting activities.
This year’s event will take place on Friday, May 25 and focus on team sports such as rugby, basketball and tennis.
Olympic gold medallist Dr Katherine Grainger CBE and chairman of the Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood CBE, have been ambassadors for the Aberdeen Youth Games since its launch.
Graeme Dale, senior development manager (young people) with Sport Aberdeen, said: “We are delighted to be working with RGU and NEScol on the Aberdeen Youth Games initiative. Every year, it increases in scale and this year is no exception.
“In the Year of Young People, this partnership underlines how many opportunities there are for young people to take part in physical activity in Aberdeen and really highlights how many fantastic young role models there are inspiring their peers to take part in, and enjoy, sport.”.